For years, Facebook has been the go-to for consumers looking to do almost anything online, and its popularity doesn’t appear to be changing anytime soon. With 2.74 billion active users, reaching 59% of the world’s population, Facebook is here to stay, and restaurants need to continue to take advantage of Facebook as a marketing channel and include it as a part of your larger digital strategy. We’ve put together 8 Facebook marketing ideas for restaurants to help you increase engagement, orders and reservations.
First things first: Set up your profile
Before you can begin marketing on Facebook, ensure your social media profile is complete with all of the information a customer would need in order to make a dining decision. This includes your restaurant’s hours, contact information (phone and email address), cuisine type, a link to your website and/or menu, and a stellar Facebook bio. Most importantly, make sure your profile has a prominent button for customers to order takeout or delivery, or to book a reservation. The goal of your Facebook page should be to make it easy for customers to find what they’re looking for when searching for you online.
**PRO TIP** Learn more about how to write a great Facebook bio with this resource.
Now let’s dive into our 8 Facebook marketing ideas for restaurants:
1. Use all of your branding opportunities
There are lots of places on your Facebook profile page that you can take advantage of for branding opportunities. Your profile picture and cover photo are some of the first things a customer sees once they’re on your page, so make sure they showcase your brand. Your cover photo can show the experience in the restaurant like Huntress Steakhouse in San Diego, or create a billboard for your delicious food. You can even swap them out seasonally, making them more festive for the winter holidays, or love themed for Valentine’s Day.
SevenRooms client Huntress Steakhouse showing off their beautiful ambience.**PRO TIP** Make sure your CTA buttons link to a direct solution. If someone has found your restaurant and is ready to book from your Facebook page, there is no reason to pay a third-party for that order or reservation. Check out our recent data report to uncover the true cost of third-party marketplaces.
You should also customize your Facebook page URL to include your restaurant’s name (i.e. www.facebook.com/yourrestaurantname). You can also consider adding custom tabs to showcase special events you’re hosting, or merchandise loyal customers can buy to show their support, like Fortina has here.
2. Vary your content
The content you post on your page should have a consistent voice and appearance so that your brand is instantly recognizable – but that doesn’t mean every post has to be the same. Consider some of these fun content ideas, designed to engage your audience:
Employee showcase – Everyone loves putting a face to a name, and this is especially true when it comes to your staff. Show off the people who give your guests an amazing experience at your restaurant.
Contests and giveaways – Everything from “how many of our signature matchboxes are in the jar”, to “best caption receives a special discount” encourages engagement, and on Facebook, engagement is key! Check out Cote’s Wagyu Giveaway for inspiration.
Memes – Don’t be afraid to post memes with captions relevant to your restaurant. What better way to make your restaurant’s content go viral?
Beautiful food pictures – Mouthwatering photos of your menu items are always crowd pleasers.
Special promotions – Are you offering a special prix fixe menu for Valentine’s Day? Or a 2-for-1 special on drinks for Ladies’ Night on Wednesdays? Make sure everyone knows!
Loyalty program – It’s always a good idea to pepper in the occasional promotion for your loyalty program, if you have one. Create a compelling offer to encourage sign-ups.
Video – Video content on Facebook drives higher engagement than a photo or link post. -Even a short 10 second video can grab a potential customer’s attention much better than a static image.
Going live – Utilize the Live functionality to host virtual events, go behind the scenes in the kitchen, or show the energy in the dining room on a busy Friday night. Don’t forget to post the recording to other social media channels later.
3. Embrace user-generated content
One of the great things about Facebook is that it enables you to have a conversation with your guests, as opposed to traditional advertising where the conversation is one-directional. Take advantage of the nature of the platform to start real conversations with your guests. Respond to comments, send direct messages, and repost when someone posts about your restaurant. Word of mouth goes a long way, and it’s important to cultivate those brand advocates on social media.
4. Always include a CTA
Chances are, you have a goal when posting to Facebook. Maybe it’s to get more likes, maybe it’s to encourage comments and engagement, or maybe it’s advertising to drive takeout & delivery orders or reservations. Whatever your goal is, make it clear and always include a CTA in your posts. These could be as simple as: “Let us know your favorite in the comments”, “Order your hot honey pizza now!” or “Make your reservation for our signature Sunday Boozy Brunch today!”. We love The Wilson’s promotion of their special dog menu!
5. Cross-promote your Facebook profile
Include links to your Facebook page in all of your emails, and make your Facebook profile easy to find on your website, helping to encourage more guests to visit the page and engage with your content. You can also encourage people to like your page with postcard inserts in to-go bags, or in check inserts.
6. Expand your reach past current followers
Engaging with customers who have already liked your page is fantastic, but acquiring new likes and engagement from people who may not have visited your restaurant or ordered takeout yet can be more difficult. A couple of easy ways to expand your digital reach are to use popular hashtags like #tacotuesday, #happyhour, or #nyc in the body of your post. You can also tag larger accounts and influencers in pictures and in your body text. Have some extra dollars in your marketing budget this month? Considering running Facebook ads or boosting some of your posts to expand your reach.
7. Engage people with Messenger
Facebook Messenger allows you to create pre-built responses for customers to click, making it easier for them to get answers to frequently asked questions, make a request, or speak to someone live. Check out how Scarpetta NYC utilizes their Facebook Messenger.
8. Stay on top of the latest trends, memes, and stories and use them in your Facebook marketing
Every few days, a new social media trend has gone viral. Take advantage of these cultural moments and use them in your Facebook marketing. Trends like “how it started vs. how it’s going” are great opportunities to create a quick post that will feel timely and relevant, and engage your audience.
Facebook marketing for restaurants can be a great (and potentially free) way to drive more orders and reservations.
Looking for a takeout and delivery solution? Check out SevenRoom’s Online Ordering.
It also provides you with a way to engage with and build deeper relationships with customers that build loyalty. If there’s one thing we know, it’s that operators love working in the hospitality industry because they love the opportunity to provide memorable and personalized experiences for their customers. That experience goes past the takeout bag or restaurant door, so have some fun with it, and start posting!
Ready to uplevel your restaurant’s Instagram too? Check out our Instagram scheduling template and PDF guide with real examples and captions to use.